Losing Your Grip? How to Treat Your Thumb Arthritis – Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic
Imagine how frustrating it would be to try to open a jar or button a shirt without your thumb. This feeling is all too common for those with one of the most common types of hand osteoarthritis. Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services.
A joint is formed when two bones meet and articulate, which allows movement. Joints are lined with smooth cartilage that allows for the easy movement of one bone relative to another. Osteoarthritis , or degenerative arthritis, is a process that occurs with aging and describes the deterioration of the joint cartilage.
Arthritis is a condition that causes inflammation and cartilage loss within the joint. There are several types of arthritis, the most common type, osteoarthritis, or wear-and-tear arthritis, occurs commonly in the joint at the base thumb. Arthritis of the thumb usually occurs at the joint found at the base of the thumb, where the thumb meets the wrist. This joint called the carpometacarpal CMC joint or the basilar joint, is important when trying to grip or pinch.